DeKALB -- Down 19 points early in the fourth quarter Friday and well on the way to a fifth straight setback at the 85th annual Chuck Dayton Classic, the Geneseo boys' basketball team finally found something that's been missing the last week.|
"We didn't quit,'' Geneseo coach Brad Storm said. "We started to believe in ourselves.''
But even though a comeback came up just short in its tourney finale, 60-55 to the hosts from DeKalb, Storm hopes his squad gained some positive momentum heading into the 2013 portion of its schedule.
"You certainly can't fault the effort in the fourth quarter,'' Storm said after the Leafs got as close as four points a couple of times in the final minute.
"My question to them was, `Where was that the other three quarters? Where was that the other four games here?' If we get that, we're playing in the championship game.''
Instead, the Leafs (6-7) head home hoping a string of narrow setbacks at the tourney -- including losses to third-place combatants Hampshire and Aurora Marmion -- sets the stage for big things to still happen this season.
"If we can come back and win the conference, which I believe is very do-able, or win a regional title, who cares about what happened at the Chuck Dayton Tournament?'' said Storm, whose club is 2-1 in Northern Illinois Big 12 West action heading into Friday's trip to league-leading LaSalle-Peru."We did a lot of good things in coming back. We just ran out of time. If we'd turned it on sooner at the end of the third quarter, things would have been different, I really believe that, and I hope these guys do, too.''
Jordan Starkey, selected to the five-man all-tournament first team, spearheaded the comeback with 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
But others figured, too, as Geneseo rallied from a 49-30 deficit in the final 7 minutes and 5 seconds.
Luke Snyder added five of his 13 points and two of his team-high-tying four steals, Ethan Radue scored four of his 11 points and Grant Burress chipped in five of his nine points in the final period against DeKalb (3-11).
Geneseo finished with 22 turnovers and allowed the Hubs to hit 21 of 42 shots from the field. Jake Carpenter led four DeKalb starters into double figures with 16 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists.
"It's too bad; in the first quarter we executed our game plan,'' said Storm, whose club shrugged off DeKalb's 6-0 start to trail only 13-12 heading into the second period."But then we got away from those things and started making bad decisions again. We lost that sense of urgency, we lost that passion, and we're not good enough to play without it.''
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